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Module ICM-2014:

Module Facts

Run by School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Maziar Nezhad

Overall aims and purpose

The main learning objective is to present the underlying principles of photonics, optoelectronic devices and lightwave technology. Special focus will be given to the applications of these in optical telecommunications in the context of integrated photonics. Students will obtain an understanding of the principles of light (ray optics and wave optics), optical beams, optical waveguides, photonic waveguide devices, optical properties of materials, photonic detectors and light generation, including lasers.

Course content

  • Principles of light and ray optics
  • Wave optics
  • Polarization
  • Gaussian beams
  • Optical waveguides and optical fibres
  • Optical waveguide devices
  • Optical resonators
  • Optical properties of materials
  • Photons and the particle model of light
  • Absorption and emission
  • Light detection and photovoltaics
  • Semiconductor optics
  • Light sources, population inversion and lasers
  • Photonic device fabrication technology

Assessment Criteria







Learning outcomes

  1. An understanding of light generation, population inversion and lasers.

  2. Understand basic concepts in optics including reflection, refraction, polarisation and interference.

  3. Understand the general principles of light in the ray optics, wave optics and photon models.

  4. Understand the principles of light absorption, photo detection and photovoltaics.

  5. An understanding of optical resonators.

  6. A basic understanding of optical waveguides and planar optical devices such as the Mach Zehnder interferometer.

  7. Gain knowledge about the technology used to fabricate and package integrated optical devices.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Written assignment, including essay : Mini-project or essay

A choice of:

  • A simulation project (simulation of a photonics-related effect using Matlab or Octave), resulting in a written report.
  • An essay on a photonics-related topic

The list of projects and topics will be announced at week 5. The reports will be due by December 15, submitted online. Reports and essays will be marked based on technical content, accuracy, breadth and writing quality. (25 points each for a total of 100). Length is 1000 words (approx. 2 pages single spaced, excluding tables and figures).

CLASS TEST : Class test 2

90 minute in-class test. Marked papers will be returned to students. Exam date: 2018-12-04

EXAM : Final examination

90 minute written exam, all questions to be answered.

CLASS TEST : Class test 1

90 minutes written in-class test. Marked papers will be returned to students. Exam date: Week of Oct 23rd, exact date TBD.


Teaching and Learning Strategy

Private study 76

One 2 hour lecture per week over 12 weeks


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting

Subject specific skills

Understand the principles of photonics. Be able to discuss and describe the functioning of various parts of an optical integrated circuit using appropriate optical models. Become familiar with optical and electromagnetic wave propagation in various media and the behavior at boundaries Learn about various optical components such as gratings, optical fibres, resonators, etc. Learn about light absorption and detection, in particular for semiconductors. Learn about light generation, amplification and lasers. Learn the basics of photonic chip fabrication technology.


Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module